Investigating the efficiency of thermosonication for controlling biofouling in batch membrane systems

Al-Juboori, Raed A. and Yusaf, Talal and Aravinthan, Vasanthadevi (2012) Investigating the efficiency of thermosonication for controlling biofouling in batch membrane systems. Desalination, 286. pp. 349-357. ISSN 0011-9164


The potency of thermosonication as a pre-treatment technique to deactivate microorganisms was investigated in this work in order to reduce the biofouling in Reverse Osmosis (RO) system. E. coli with a concentration of 106 Colony Forming Unit (CFU)/mL was selected as a sample of microorganisms in water. Composite polyamide RO membrane in a stirred cell was used as a model for the membrane system. The efficiency of thermosonication in reducing the formation of biofouling on RO membrane was assessed based on two criteria i) measuring the permeate flux of the stirred cell and ii) analysing the developed biofilm on RO membrane using staining and epiflourescence microscopy techniques. Thermosonication treatment with intensity of 21.5 W/cm2, temperature of 48 °C and treatment time of 4 min eliminated almost 103 CFU/mL of the presented E. coli in the feed solution of RO and injured more than 10% of the surviving population. As a consequence, it was possible to recover the permeate flux of the treated feed by more than 0.1 L/ during fouling treatment for 60 h. Moreover, the captured microphotographs of the membrane used with untreated and treated feeds revealed that the treated E. coli built sparse biofilm on the membrane, while the developed biofilm by untreated E. coli covered almost all the membrane area.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2012 03:20
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2014 04:36
Uncontrolled Keywords: ultrasound; biofouling; RO; thermosonication; E. coli; reverse osmosis membrane; stirred cell; epiflourescence microscopy
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091305 Energy Generation, Conversion and Storage Engineering
09 Engineering > 0907 Environmental Engineering > 090702 Environmental Engineering Modelling
09 Engineering > 0904 Chemical Engineering > 090410 Water Treatment Processes
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961103 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments (excl. Urban and Industrial Use)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2011.11.049

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